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Keels makes it official

It was sort of a frustrating recruitment for Highland (Kan.) Community College Defensive Tackle Joe Keels. Wanting to commit to Wisconsin since the Badgers offered this fall, the four-star defensive tackle had to be patient and wait for his academic paperwork to clear.

Keels is commitment No. 15 for Wisconsin.

On Thursday, Keels got the go ahead from the Wisconsin coaching staff to pull the trigger, and that's exactly what he did.

"It felt good," Keels told Badge247. "At first I wasn't sure I could. They had to make sure my schoolwork was good. Coach Busch (Bill Busch) came out here yesterday and he talked to all my counselors. He even stayed for practice this morning.

"My head coach told me to give him a call. He said everything he saw he loved. He said 'Let's just get this thing over with. Let's be a Badger.'"

"I talked to Coach Andersen (Gary Andersen). He said he's going to stay on top of me, he wants me here. I'm coming there to get it rocking."

Keels, a former standout at Kenosha Bradford, played one season with Melvin Gordon in high school. Presumably the two, who are cousins, will get a chance to play 1-2 more years together in Madison.

"It's a program I started watching since my cousin started going there," Keels said. "They have five defensive lineman leaving, so they're giving me a big opportunity to come in and play right away. My mom can come see everyday, my nephews, my fan base that's already in Wisconsin. I can't wait to play aside my cousin for two more years."

Keels chose Wisconsin over other offers from Alabama, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Penn State, South Florida, USC, and many others.

The nation's No. 12 ranked junior college prospect was beginning to get hot on the recruiting trail, adding offers from the Crimson Tide and Huskers recently, however never wavered on where he wanted to be after receiving his offer from Wisconsin.

"I told myself a while ago, before I blew up, that no matter what the situation was, that I wouldn't hop on the bandwagon schools who came after the fifth game," he said. "All the big offers, I picked up, came after the fifth game."

Keels is the 15th known commitment for Wisconsin in the class of 2014. He was recruited by Assistant Coach Bill Busch.

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